by Gray Graham
Recently I attended a conference on cyber bullying and internet safety with our children. The panel consisted of members from the police department, school officials, IT professionals, and District Attorney office. All of these are people that work with children on a daily basis and see what happens because of cyber bullying today. A lot of things were discussed about what parents need to do to be active in their children's lives.
The one thing a think that the majority of parents forget is that our children are a copy of us, both biologically and sociologically. They copy our behavior more than anything else. Now this is a fact that is rarely mentioned. In most cases parents are spoken to as if they have no clue what their children are doing and nothing could be further from the truth.
Think about it for a second. How often have you see a young girl that was dressed rather provocatively, but her mother was not? How many times have you observed a young boy that was angry and aggressive and his father was not? It is very rare that a child will have bad behavior and the parents do not also.
Ever wonder why the people in your relationships have insulting, aggressive maybe violent behavior? Have they ever told you stories about how "mama used to beat my [insert expletive here] when I asked a simple question when I was five" or "my daddy beat the [insert expletive here] out of me when I got in trouble that one time." Do they cuss you out all the time, but say that ain't no big deal. Have you walked into a grocery store recently and heard a parent cussing their child out even when it was just a baby?
I think that parents forget that we are our children's biggest teachers. Even when they are away from us they still carry us with them everywhere they go. I hear parents almost everyday complain about the way their children act, yet never once think about exactly what example they are setting for their children. Most children today grow up in a single parent household and rarely ever see the other parent. Sometimes its because they were born out of wedlock other times because of divorce. Same thing for their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. They hear stories about how much trouble their parents used to get into sometimes leading up to jail or worse.
Makes you wonder where are all these good examples of proper behavior are that our children are suppose to learn. Our bad life choices, our foul mouths, and our rude behavior show our true character. As I always say "Do as I say, not as I do" is the worst teaching method ever. You can look at the statistics of teen pregnancy, spread of STD's among youth, high school dropouts, drug use, gang violence, suicides, homicides, and all the other ills for all the proof you will ever need to convince you of this.
Parents need to live and be the example if they constantly tell their children to be. Show them proof that it can be done.